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The Cobweb Hotel

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The Cobweb Hotel

Publication date 1936
Publisher Paramount Pictures & Adolph Zukor Presents
Newly-wed flies go to stay at the Cobweb Hotel which is run by a hungry spider. Animation by David Tendlar and William Sturm. Music by Sammy Timberg and Bob Royhberg. Produced in 1936.


Reviewer: Victor Von Psychotron - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 20, 2014
Subject: Fun, yet scary
I'm sure this freaked out many young children. The fear, screaming, and panic of the trapped flies is a frightening image for young viewers. It's still a fun cartoon with neat animation.
Reviewer: Dr Feel Rotten - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 2, 2011
Subject: Rooting on flies
How often do you find yourself rooting on adult versions of maggots? Not to often I have to guess.. LOL
Reviewer: CartoonChick - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 6, 2010
Subject: Scary Spider, Awesome Voice
The spider scared the hell out of me when I was a kid, and he's still pretty scary now. Love his voice. Love the song:

Spend the night at the Cobweb Hotel.
You'll find that the service is swell.
Now you needn't be shy.
I won't harm a fly.
Spend the night at the Cobweb Hotel.
Come into my parlor, please do.
In a while, all your cares will be through.
There'll be no rent to pay.
'Cause you'll be here to stay.
Spend the night at the Cobweb Hotel.

I made a version with closed captions and an interactive trancript. You can check it out here:
Leave a comment if you note a mistake and I'll gladly correct it.
Reviewer: Haki - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 27, 2009
Subject: The Cobweb Hotel
I used to love this episode as a kid. I still have the VHS tape somewhere. It's nice to see it still around. I love the spider!
Reviewer: Dark Moon - favoritefavoritefavorite - June 2, 2009
Subject: "...a strong sense of the surreal..."
"...and the macabre, permeates
many of the early Fleischer sound cartoons." That's how one article describes them. That is certainly true in the cave scenes of two Betty Boop episodes-- 'Minnie the Moocher' and 'Snow White'-- both which are animated to the strains of Cab Calloway.

I'd say that macabre also describes this cartoon, if not surreal, as well. Also, in an unusual twist, the heroic main character is based upon a Fleischer-style pun: A fly that holds the title of National Flyweight Boxing Champion. I suppose it is only natural that the opposing villain should be a hungry spider ("Come into my lobby [instead of my parlor], said the spider to the fly").

Last but not least, this 'toon is an unusual divergence from others in the Color Classics series (at least, from those here on the Archive), in the sense that it doesn't really preach a moral (not like 'Play Safe', 'Small Fry', 'Song of the Birds', 'Peeping Penguins', and 'Educated Fish'), revisits the macabre style of their earlier work, and is resolved (as "titlescreen" notes) in a Popeye-style fistfight. Several descriptions on the archive claim that the CC series was Fleischer Studios' attempt at keeping up or competing with Disney. This looks to be a reversion to type.
Reviewer: titlescreen - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 25, 2009
Subject: Voice Work - Good
Interesting voice work for that spider. Reminds me a bit of some of the older Popeye toons. I like these sort of battle stories.
Reviewer: Seto-Kaiba_Is_Stupid - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 20, 2009
Subject: Wow
I love this type of cartoon....It creates a weird sense of "ohhhh" inside of me.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 29, 2006
Subject: Yikes!
This is the type of cartoon that gives kids nightmares. A couple of vacationing flies get more than a bed at the cobweb spider. They have to fight off the concierge, who happens to be a spider! The Spider here is quite scary, and I can imagine the kiddies from when this was made having conniptions about it. And look at all the poor flies that came before them! Awwwww! Luckily, mr vacationing fly has quite a mean hook (because hes a flyweight you understand) so all turns out well!
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 18, 2006
Subject: You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, but You Can Never Leave
This cartoon is not really all that weird, not in comparison with a lot of others of its time (1930's). It has the standard 1930's cartoon plot of a bunch of cute little characters battling a big ugly bad guyÂÂin this case, a bunch of flies battling a big ugly spider who runs the "Cobweb Hotel", which is really a front for his web! For all that, though, it's a pretty fun cartoon with great artwork and animation.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: ***.
Reviewer: samrees - favoritefavorite - March 18, 2006
Subject: mmm
just another good guy chase bad guy cartoon, but with a bunch a style , and a great voice for the bad guy.
Reviewer: lolathemermaid - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 16, 2005
Subject: childhood favorite
I remember the 1st time I saw this short toon when I was very young. I always remembered it very vividly. I luckily have it on a Casper the Friendly Ghost VHS but this is a very hard to find cartoon, so we're lucky to have it archived here!
Reviewer: uniQ - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 28, 2005
Subject: A classic, IMAO.
This is a great cartoon of the "People-like things were miniaturized in a human surrounding" genere, here, a hotel (Looks like some modern motels) is made of a open desk with the individual cubbyholes acting as "rooms" and various things you find around a desk (Telephone, typewriter, fountain pen, asprin (!) (Remember, he IS studying law)) are made use of in ways they whouldn't normally be.

In (Rather early looking) Color! It's prone to bleaching and going too dark.

MPPDA! Certificate 0593, if there's any way to look them up now.

Sound by Western Electric. Look on Prelinger Archives for something by "W.E. Erpi" that explains how they did it.

Also, anyone know what's with the "cuts" in the title paper?

The fighting towards the end has war overtones, the pen, and especially the machine gun/atomizer and improvised safety pin/rifle and pen nib/ammunition.

The main reason I'm giving this a high rating (Besides the fact I like that genere) is that I remember seeing it AGES ago on TV and now to see it without the commercials and suchlike is just great.

Thanx again!


PS. It should be a 5 star file, but there're a few glitches here and there and some of the voices are hard to hear. This all may be on my end. Look @ it anyway.

Revision 3
Reviewer: moretree5 - favoritefavorite - April 8, 2005
Subject: dated stereotypes
but still rather original.
A carniverous spider is foiled by some militant flies and then dumped in a pot of "library paste"??
But it's not Bugs Bunny!
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